Sunday, 6 October 2013

Reflections on tutorial with Chris Taylor (ceramics)

On Thursday afternoon (Oct 3rd), following the first session of “Context of Practice”, I happened to have a tutorial with Chris that brought home the importance of context.

I showed Chris my Column:

 He asked me why I’d positioned it in the garden, and why in that particular spot.  I waffled in reply.  I placed it there because it felt right but I’d never analysed why. 

The same thing with my Ring:

Chris asked me why I’d picked that shape, why in the garden, why was I planning to put it at the end of a walkway in front of our house, why don't I swap the locations of the column and the ring?

More waffling from me.

Chris was demonstrating that I should be asking myself these questions in the early stages of developing a project.    I need to analyse the context!   A great point, well taken!

In retrospect (and with some prompting from Chris), I think both structures have very large scale, strong geometric shapes that provide a big contrast with garden shapes.  As a result, they act as focal points.

The Column
In my waffling, I said the vertical column mirrored the vertical face of the house  just behind it and as it was on the drive, it sent out a signal to visitors about the people living in the house.   I guess there is something in this.   

In retrospect I should have also pointed out that the space between the column and the house forms a sort of gateway at the point where a “yellow brick road” (path made from yellow paving blocks) begins winding its way up our (steep) garden by the side of the house.

The Ring
 I didn’t really have a good reason for the ring being circular.  I made something up about it looking like a port-hole but that’s really baloney because you won’t be able to see the sea through it – even though our house has spectacular views of the sea. 

My wife is campaigning to put the ring somewhere where the sea can be seen through it but I am determined to put it at the end of the walkway.  In this position, people will see it in the distance as they walk to our front door.  It’s a sort of target.  And again, I think it’s a signal to visitors about the occupants of the house.  It’s saying an artist lives here!

Also, the walkway is elevated and comes to an abrupt stop over the top of our neighbour's fence.  It needs something major as a termination point.

Next Project
The main reason for the tutorial was to get advice on my next project:
Chris did a great job of getting me to focus on the message I’m trying to get across, that facial expressions convey a myriad of emotions.   In this case, it's really about eliminating distractions.  I'm about to make some radical changes - including what the project is called!

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